Evolution of yoga | SF Bay Guardian

Evolution of yoga

Bay Area innovators take this timeless practice in new directions

Aerial Yoga Swings

Jen Healy (right) holds a pose in an aerial yoga swing inside the Quantum Playground.

-By Steven T. Jones

YOGA Being suspended upside down in an aerial yoga swing in Peaceful Warrior position, transitioning into Happy Buddha as I reached for the Quantum Playground to deepen my stretch, I gained a new perspective on the world — and the ongoing evolution of yoga in the Bay Area.

Innovation and the cross-pollination of various ideas and practices are as quintessential to the Bay Area as yoga and other mindful approaches to self-improvement and secular spirituality. So it makes sense that local yoga teachers and entrepreneurs are developing new twists on a timeless art.

My yoga practice began in 2001, and I was fortunate to have an instructor who emphasized that yoga is about breathing more than stretching or exercise. It’s about being present and maintaining that presence through the pain of life and its contortions. Inhale to lengthen, exhale to deepen; breathe in, breathe out, repeat indefinitely.

When aerial yoga instructor Jen Healy first hung me upside down in her San Rafael home and “Healyng Sanctuary” while we were dating in 2012, that focus on breathing was essential just to keep my lunch down (or up, in this case). Yoga can have that disorienting quality, particuarly in the inverted postures.

And then I worked through it, finding a new world opened up on the other side where previous limits yielded to new openness and flexibility. It can be playful, as in Healy’s Aerial Yoga Play swings and teacher trainings; or the partner-based AcroYoga that emerged here about 10 years ago.

“You get to play your way to a healthier and happier state of being,” Healy says, calling her swings and jungle-gym-like Quantum Playground she built tools for “awakening the courageous inner child.”

Read the full article here:  Evolution of yoga | SF Bay Guardian.

Buy an Aerial Yoga Swing Here

Leave a Reply